Change.org readers have once again succeeded with another petition, encouraging a major clothing brand to publicly oppose Uzbekistan's use of forced child labour in its own cotton, the International Labor Rights Forum reports.
A statement released on July 19 by Carter's (which also owns Osh Kosh B'Gosh), notes that "because of the systemic, government-sanctioned use of forced child labor in the harvesting of cotton in Uzbekistan, Carter's prohibits the use of any cotton from Uzbekistan in our products."
The full statement is as follows:
Carter's takes very seriously its social responsibility to ensure that the highest ethical standards are upheld throughout our supply chain. While we recognize and respect the variety of cultural and legal environments in which our vendors operate, there are some standards, such as child and forced labor, on which Carter's will not compromise. To do business with us, our vendors must adhere to our Social Responsibility Policy, notwithstanding any local custom or law.
Because of the systemic, government-sanctioned use of forced child labor in the harvesting of cotton in Uzbekistan, Carter's prohibits the use of any cotton from Uzbekistan in our products. Historically, we advised our vendors of our prohibition against the use of Uzbek cotton and have required that they certify such non-use. Going forward, we are taking steps to go more deeply into our supply chain to better ensure compliance.
Additionally, in an effort to persuade the government of Uzbekistan to end the practice of forced child labor, we have partnered with other international stakeholders and signed the Uzbekistan Cotton Pledge created by the Responsible Sourcing Network. We are hopeful this broad coalition can help end the use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan.
Carter's will continue to prohibit the use of Uzbek cotton in our supply chain until the government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced child labor and allows the independent verification by the International Labor Organization.
The change.org petition reached 845 signatures in about a month.